Sound Stories #025 – Contributing to a Brand’s Story: The Role of Social Media Influencers

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    The beautifully curated photos on Instagram and the sponsored posts that you see popping up throughout your feed come from social media influencers. What does it take to become one of those people? Ally Pintucci offers you a peek behind the curtain and shares her thoughts on authenticity, how she grew her brand, and what she looks for when she connects with a company.

    Links:
    Ally Pintucci: http://www.allypintucci.com/ 

    TRANSCRIPTION SOUND STORIES #025

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Hi there, and welcome to another episode of Sound Stories, an inspirational podcast for creative professionals and storytellers who want to improve their lives at home and at work. I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli, your host and co-founder of voices.com. If you were to guess which source of information had the most influence over someone’s decision to make a purchase, what would you say? If you guessed peer recommendation, you’d be right. According to Content Marketing Institute, nothing holds more power than the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of our peers. And this is a fact that storyteller and social media influencer, Ally Pintucci knows all too well. Ally has spent years building an authentic personal brand and a strong following. Today, she joins us to discuss why social media influence is so attractive to brands and how companies can harness the power of everyday people to make their offerings stand out. Welcome to the show, Ally.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Hi guys. I’m so excited to be here today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Before we get too far, and I just want to thank you for being here. And I know that you are in British Columbia. Is that right?

    Ally Pintucci:

    I am. I’m out in Vancouver today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    We’ve discussed it in a previous podcast before, but we’re going to talk a little bit about just actually your journey on to becoming a social media influencer. So could you let us know what would drive someone to grow a following and build a business from it?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah, I think everyone kind of starts off with their own reasons of how they may be get into this kind of job or what their goals are from it. For me, it was actually just being really honest and raw through a personal transition or a journey that I was going through. And I started to build a community of people around me that just started to really engage with that and really resonate with a lot of the things that I was saying. So for me, it was just like, I’m struggling with so much as I try and figure myself out, figure my life out as a human. And I know other people are kind of going through the same thing. So how do I smash this, like highlight reel that social media is and create some raw and real conversation and start to build a community around this where people feel empowered and people feel like they can relate or talk to someone?

    Ally Pintucci:

    And that’s how it really started for me. I just wanted to talk to more people. And my following grew from that. And from there, it was just a good chance for me to kind of combine the worlds of using my creativity and my photography background and working with brands that really just authentically aligned with my lifestyle to put together these great campaigns. So I think for people to get into this, it’s kind of figuring out each person’s what their why is and what are they really trying to promote or bring forward in the industry.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    No, that’s really interesting. And you have a lot of passion for those things that you want to be associated with and for the companies that no doubt and the brands that you’re associating yourself with, a lot of that authenticity would be coming through. So could you just explain to us, Ally, what the mechanics are of how a social media influencers business works and also just so we can round it out who approaches whom and how does the ongoing relationship go?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah, for me, and I think it’s different based on what kind of market you’re in and the types of companies that you work for or work with. But for me, it was figuring out my why, my why is like my absolute question. And I think it was… I think for most people that land into this, it’s I don’t think you wake up one day and you’re like, I want to be an influencer. I think that starts to kind of happen as you go and as you just authentically interact with your audience. And as that grows and that becomes very comfortable for you, you really know who you want to align yourself with. And you have ideal brands. Before I started doing this and this is totally accidental for me, one day I just woke up and I’m like, okay, I guess this is my job.

    Ally Pintucci:

    But for me it was just like, there are certain brands that I just want to align myself with and work with because our values are aligned. We have a similar outlook on what we want to promote or how we want to live. And I think that was just like the deciding factor for me is authenticity. And I know that’s a buzzword. You hear a lot of brands and people throwing out the word authentic or authenticity. But for me, I didn’t want to be someone that posted, Hey, here’s the scrub or this skinny tee, and you can get it for yourself and use my promo, Ally 20 at checkout.

    Ally Pintucci:

    For me, it was just like, what is my everyday life? And who do I authentically engage with each day? What brands align with that? And what brands do I actually use? And then how can we come together to create something? So you’ll notice a lot of my campaigns aren’t just blatant product placements. You’ll notice a lot of my campaigns revolve around experiences of saying, this is a cool way that I can work with the brand and this is how you can actually do this yourself.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    That’s exciting because there are likely people listening who want to be social media influencers or who are already influencers. But I’m just thinking from a brand standpoint, how would I, let’s say as a brand of some kind, find somebody like you, who meets all of those? I guess you tick all the boxes off, the values are aligned. The person is kind of able to reach the audience that you want. Is it usually the brand that comes to you or are you as you’ve kind of painted a picture here of that you’ve also identified in your own mind which brands would like to work with?

    Ally Pintucci:

    I do a lot of outreach myself. Like I said, there’s a list of brands that I’m like, I love, and I would love to do something with, so I have this, let’s say a deck. So it’s not so much a media kit with stats, but it’s more like, hey, this is what I’m about. And we’re using the word influencer a lot here and secretly a little bit inside I cringe when I hear that word. I think it’s another buzzword that’s kind of like popped out because technically, am I influencing people to make a decision? Totally. But at the same time for me, because of how I produce my campaigns, it’s so much more than just promoting something.

    Ally Pintucci:

    There is a lot of passion and ideas and hard work that goes into. I have to set up a photo. Before I even set up the photo, I have to think of how I’m going to lay this campaign out. I have to scout. I have to really just map this whole thing out and then shoot the content and then edit all the content. And then also on top of that, instead of just posting it, what is the storytelling behind all of this. So for me, I put together this deck that shows brands what I’m about and what it painted a picture of what it’s like to work with me and say, hey, this is what I’m about. And I don’t know what’s going on in your world right now, but I know that these are the core things that we align with or, and align on. And I would love to somehow fit into your content calendar. How can we work together?

    Ally Pintucci:

    In terms of who contacts who, I like to be the person who reaches out to the brands that I want to work with. For me, it’s so important to just establish a connection and build a relationship with people and just say, hey, like I talked to you about with the flyers before, like, Hey, I exist. Hey, there’s a chance that we can create something together and it might not be now, but here’s my info. But it’s totally different. I am contacted by agencies. I did a campaign with Toyota where an agency reached out to me and said, “Hey, our client’s Toyota, this is what we want you to do.” Same thing with tourism boards and some travel campaigns.

    Ally Pintucci:

    You do have a lot of companies that will hire an agency to help find talent or creatives or influencers to help make their campaigns come to life. And then there are some people who just straight up, only work with agents. So they have an actual talent agent that books them all of their gigs. So I think it really depends on each person, but for me, I like to be the one to personally build relationships with the clients that I do work with.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Right. And because you are aligning yourself and companies, the brands are aligning themselves with an authentic advocate, storyteller, influencer, however we want to put it, then those relationships I expect would go on for quite a while. You might have a contract, I don’t know. Is it like an annual contract? Are you working on a three to six-month basis? What does that look like?

    Ally Pintucci:

    It’s totally different. A lot of them are for one-off. A lot of them like, I’ll use WestJet as an example again. They were someone that said, “Hey, we want to get back in touch with you because we’re dropping this campaign that focuses on the endless adventure you can do in California.” So I essentially went down with a couple of other content creators, and we drove around for a week and took photos for them. And that’s a one-off campaign. So now they have all that content they can use. But my hope is that they love what they get and six months from now, they’re like, Hey, we’re going to, I don’t know, Bermuda, and we want you to come and do that again. So for me, it’s just, I think it’s so great to have contacts and relationships with people that you can do more than just a one-off and work with people on a consistent basis because you align really well with them. It’s just like that perfect fit.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    And so when you are being pitched perhaps by different brands that may find you, I imagine, obviously the good pitches they get through and you may decide to work with them, but have you ever received kind of a weird pitch or just kind of a really off topic? It’s not something that you would expect to get and you’re like, well, didn’t you read my website? You read my bio, you know the sort of things I do.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Oh, my God. All the time.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Yeah. So what’s an example of a bad pitch?

    Ally Pintucci:

    I think a bad pitch is just like handing out all of the flyers you possibly can and waiting for someone. It’s like going fishing. Okay, who’s going to take it? It’s the quantity over the quality of the people. I’ve gotten multiple messages saying, “Hey, my client,” and I’m not even going to tell you what it is because it was so far off what I do. But they’re like, “Hey, this is our client and we want you to post four pictures and here’s a promo code.” And it’s like, you’ve obviously, I hope you took the time to look at my feed and what I do, but there’s no alignment there whatsoever. It is like the furthest thing from that buzzword of authenticity that we hear. So for me, it’s like, does it fit? Is it a natural fit?

    Ally Pintucci:

    And I think this is like something that I think is good knowledge for anyone as a content creator, an influencer, or as a brand. I mean, everyone should have taken the time to figure out your branding, who you are, what your values are, your vision, the language you use, the color of your photos. You’ve built that box that you work within. And if something doesn’t fit into that box, it should be a no-brainer that you don’t take that on. So for me, I do get a lot of them and sometimes it’s because it’s just the content doesn’t fit. And a lot of the times I say no, because it’s a blatant product placement. And I just I’ve decided for myself that I don’t want to be the person that posts a story saying, Hey, buy this product and use my promo code or of new t-shirt or whatever it is.

    Ally Pintucci:

    For me, a lot of it goes down to experiences. And does that mean, I say no to products? Absolutely not, but it’s more so taking that product and tying it into experience. So for me, it’s not just like that photo of being like, Hey, here’s a speaker, you should buy this. It’s Hey, I went away this weekend and this is the trip that I’m promoting and did that product actually enhance that experience. And that’s how I like to tie my things in versus just a product placement. Having said that, there are certain photographers or content creators or bloggers where product placements are their absolute thing. So it really just depends on your branding and what your style is on how you actually incorporate the brands.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Right. So there’s power in saying no and knowing what your values are and standing up for those, because it is really your image. These are your followers. These are people who trust you to basically make decisions, like a friend, a peer-to-peer sort of relationship in a sense. They’re really believing whatever it is that you’ve put out there. So I’m glad to hear that you’re not only selective of what you do represent when you are being, giving an experience if you will, for a brand, but also that you’re able to even shape how that experience comes through. That’s really encouraging. And on that note, Ally, I know that you have an amazing presence on Instagram. At present, you have 27,500 people who are following your feed. Now, are you also utilizing other social networks and platforms to help expand that influence?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah, Instagram is my biggest one. That was kind of the channel that for me, photography was always just a hobby, but just touching back on that, that experience where I used that as the platform to really just be a bit more honest and real with what was going on in my life and that transition that I was going through. And that’s what kind of took Instagram off for me. And also I was in this time where I was on an adventure, like every weekend. So I mean, being in the Pacific Northwest, having this as my background and my backyard, it was like mountains and ocean and the most scenic place I could probably live in Canada, definitely helped with people clicking on my photos. But I think every channel serves its own purpose. And Instagram was kind of the gateway for me, but I didn’t want to just be an Instagrammer.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And for me, it wasn’t about the likes on a photo. It was so much more beyond that. And I use other channels and who know that each channel serves a purpose. And my Facebook, for example, I created business page, a creative services page, but my personal page is I still think one of the most valuable. And it might only have 5,000 people on there or friends that engage with me, but it’s a lot more of an engaged personal connection. So it’s a great platform to share what I’m doing behind the scenes, or what’s kind of going on in my everyday life. Something that’s not so curated.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Twitter is just, I have it. It’s fun. It’s a fun place for me to just be on there and post the odd thing here and there. And my blog and my website is something that I’m actually putting a lot more focus into now. And now that I’m trying to move away from just being on Instagram and I’m actually starting to reshape who I am as a brand and as a person and what I do, I think my blog and my website is really going to be something that’s going to be a much bigger space for me moving forward.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    That’s excellent. And you were just mentioning the picturesque kind of setting that you are in, in British Columbia. And that leads me into my next question. It’s a nice segue. So what do you think makes one influencer more attractive to a brand than another? And just as we were talking about, an outdoorsy brand, if they had a choice between you or another influencer with similar brand and following, obviously they see your background and whatnot, and they’re appreciative of what you can offer, but if there was someone else that was similar to you, what might tip the scales? What is it that would win that deal for you as the influencer?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah, I think that’s such a great question because there are so many photographers out there that are way better than me. I will like literally say that. There are so many photographers that blow my mind and they don’t have a presence on Instagram. And that’s why I think this influencer thing is funny. I think what it comes down to, and it’s an interesting time to be asking this question because times are also changing. Social media is evolving, Instagram accounts aren’t growing the same like they used to a year ago. Engagement is seriously dropping with the style of, for example, the algorithms have changed. No one knows what’s going on with it. Having it as a paid platform now, are you paying for people to see what’s your reach, your paid reach? And if you’re not paying for it, your reach has like significantly gone down.

    Ally Pintucci:

    There are so many crazy things that are reshaping how a lot of people have to work now and change their strategies. But I think when it comes down to it, you might hear the words like micro-influencer pop up a lot more now. And I think brands are leaning more is like, do we want someone who has a million followers, but has a 1% engagement, or do we want someone that has 10,000 followers but has a 30%? And they have more people actually commenting and liking and getting results from a smaller, but more powerful, engaging community.

    Ally Pintucci:

    So I think it comes down to a couple of things. One is your quality of content. Are you producing quality that a brand can use and push out and repurpose? Who you are as a person I think values. What is your entire feed about, who are you about as a person? I think social responsibility is a big one. So who you associate yourself with and the other brands that you work with. And engagement is also, I think, important as well. I know I traveled with one of the representatives from WestJet actually came down on the trip and she says they’ll only work with people with a minimum of three to 5% engagement, and believe it or not, the Instagram engagement average right now is 1%, 1.1%. They released the stats for 2017. So it’s pretty low.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Wow. I had no idea it was so low, especially when maybe a brand has a target. As you said, three to 5% engagement rate being very important to the WestJet, that’s something that a brand should be thinking about, isn’t it? Like when they’re looking for an influencer, is just how well do your interactions with the audience actually convert?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah, I think that’s why I find it hilarious that fake likes are still a thing and comments and buying all of these bots because you can look at someone’s account right away. They can have 100,000 followers and then they get 400 likes on their photo and it might look appealing for a brand initially, or someone to scroll through your page. But oh my gosh, you see this number, but if no one’s really engaging with you, then I don’t think you’re that useful in that campaign if they’re looking for building their community.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Right. And as you’ve been kind of rebranding yourself and watching all the different trends in social media, can you tell us, Ally, is there a certain platform that’s just set to explode and are there certain kinds of influencers and advocates who are going to see their business pickup?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Great question. I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer that. I’m in the midst of trying to figure that out of what’s up and coming. I know there are so many people in my space that are actually getting very tired of Instagram. And it was interesting because I put a lot of work into my strategy of how I grew my account, what hashtags I use. Hashtags are a prime example of like, that was a full on strategy for you to figure out on social media. How can you get your photos to be in that top nine explore feed? And now you hear rumors and things about shadowbans. Well, if you use the same hashtags too many times, your photos are banned and no one will see them.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And there’s just so many things changing. Everyone’s engagement has dropped quite a bit on Instagram. And the photo, you had to figure out, for example, figure out your best times to post pictures. But now, last year when they changed the whole thing, well, it’s not timestamped anymore. The posts aren’t in chronological order from everyone who when they posted their photos. I think a lot of people are just annoyed with it and trying to figure it out. I don’t know what’s coming up next. Having said that, I don’t think Facebook and Instagram are going anywhere.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Wow. Well, there’s certainly a big, bright, beautiful tomorrow coming up. I have no doubt and a lot of trends to keep our eyes on and just a better understanding. If a company, a brand listening right now is thinking, I’d really love to get one of these influencers on our radar. I want to find the right person. What is it that they should be looking for that kind of makes it feel like it’s just the perfect fit? What goes into a relationship like that, that a brand can be thinking about as they engage kind of reviewing the various influencers they may work with?

    Ally Pintucci:

    I think it’s always great to involve your social media manager into this. Your social person is like the person who’s literally on their phone every day on all of your company’s channels monitoring who’s engaging with you. And also, they’re going to be following other people in that space. So it’s always great to kind of see who’s already active in this space, who’s very influential in this space, who is a person of quality in this space and how can we reach out to them. I love when brands do it directly. Like I said before, I love having that personal relationship with the brand, but some brands have the ability to just message people directly through Instagram or their website, and some companies will hire agencies to do so. So sometimes you leave it to the agency, Hey, can you go research this? But I think it’s also great if you actually had a few people in mind that you wanted to work with and engage with them anyways.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Great. So are any of the brands who’ve reached out to you, did they know that you were maybe a customer of theirs or that you had some brand affinity? Was there something that would be telling other than you happen to be in the same space that would suggest that perhaps you might be a customer there? And if so, should brands be approaching customers?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Great question. I hope so. I want to go back to all the brands I work with them and be like, so how did you find me? I think there’s so many programs out there also that do this for you. You’re able, for example, like when I did that Toyota campaign, that agency is located in Toronto, but you’re able to kind of search different demographics and see, okay, who’s actually located in the city. So when they were releasing that new car and that’s the launch that I was a part of, they had to say, okay, well, who’s in Vancouver? Who would be, let’s say three people, three to five people that would be amazing at taking this car on an adventure and posting about it? And what kind of communities are they’re involved with?

    Ally Pintucci:

    I think so as a brand… And I worked also as a social media manager and I had to do the same thing as well. It was basically just like looking into a person to see, like I said, who they work with, what’s their niche, what is their engagement like, how do they actually engage with their community. And I think those are the best ways to kind of narrow it down. So I might not own a Toyota, but I’d be a prime candidate for someone who would need this car. And I think that’s how the brand should be breaking it down of how they could qualify someone to be great for their campaign.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Just thinking again as a brand, how important is it to the brand and to the influencer that the influencer really understands that brand’s voice and how they want to be perceived? And how does that go into the shaping of a campaign for you? Do you have to learn the brand voice? Are you kind of getting some pointers here and there from their social media person? I’m just trying to understand how interconnected you need to be with that brand in terms of how you express yourself so that they don’t feel as though, it’s kind of often a direction they wouldn’t have gone, but also the balancing act of you maintaining your own autonomy as a social influencer.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah. Great question. That honestly just depends on the scope of the project that you’re working on. So when a brand contacts me or an agency contacts me and they say, “Hey, this is my client and they want to do X with you.” For me, it’s so important to say, what does that entail? And most people will actually have the creative brief. So they’ll say we actually just want photos. So for me on that note, it’s so easy to be like, ‘Here you go, here are the photos.” For things that are involved me, actually posting stuff on my Instagram or my social channels. Usually even before I take the gig, I want to know if the brand has certain captions that they want me posting. And that’s what’s really going to allow me to say yes or no.

    Ally Pintucci:

    I’ve taken on a campaign where everything sounded great and then just before I signed the contract, they said, “By the way, your captions have to say involved like this sentence and have a promo code and have all of this.” And I said, “No, unfortunately I can’t do that.” So it really comes down to learning the creative brief that the company or the brand has and what they want you to say. And if they’re not particular in a certain caption, the other thing they’ll always do is actually have you submit your caption for a review before you post it. So there’s not always the most amount of wiggle room. It usually is pretty clear to get approval or at least have more information before you post anything.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Normally when you reach out, if it’s a good fit, it doesn’t seem like a big process because brands will reach you, like the campaigns that I accept are just like, yeah, no problem. I can obviously do this campaign and make it sound authentic because it totally is versus something you know like deep down inside, I’ll get captions and I’d be like, I’m not comfortable posting that. So it’s not going to be a good fit. So if you find the right people in your space that are a good alignment with the brand, there’s not really a lot of coaching because they’re going to reach out to me because they liked my style anyway. So they’re most likely going to just be like, do your thing, send it to us so we can take a peek before you post it, but it’s probably going to be all good.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Wow. So you’re really passionate individual, obviously just looking at your Instagram channel, just in your profiles there, just a lot of passion that comes through enthusiasm. Obviously you got attention to detail, you got audience built up. Is life really as interesting and magical as it appears on your Instagram account? Give us a little taste of what a day in the life of Ally is.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Honestly, sometimes I wish I had a reality TV show. Not because I want people to follow what I do all the time, but because sometimes I feel like my life is so much messier behind the scenes than it is on my Instagram. And I just laugh at myself on a consistent basis. But for me, like I said before, this whole thing of being a highlight reel, I actually struggled with it so much. I struggled that people… I would just share photos of being outside and being on adventures. And the one thing that honestly has stuck with me to this day, and it was almost two years ago now. I wrote this vulnerable caption. I was going through this breakup. My heart was shattered and I didn’t even know how to come out of it like any other girl.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And I posted about everything that I was feeling and all this confusion and everything that I was struggling with. And at the time dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression that I had just not got under control. And I wrote this vulnerable post and this girl comments on it. And she says, “I’m so happy that you’ve decided to write about this because I constantly find myself scrolling through your feed, comparing your life to mine. And I sit here and wonder what I’m doing wrong.” I like to this day, that quote or that that moment will never be out of my brain because that’s what really, I think that was the start of it for me. That was when I was just like, this is garbage. You are sitting here wanting my life and I hate most of the things that are going on in it.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And that was the point for me where I said, this is all a highlight reel. Am I going out, I’m my doing anythings? Sure. But you’re looking at a moment that was 30 seconds of my life. And you don’t know anything before or after, anything that’s really going on with me. So I wanted to use this as a channel to really smash this stereotype of a highlight reel and just really facilitate some conversation, both in person and in the community and online. So I think that that’s a big thing with Instagram was for me and for social media. For me was like, that was my main goal. But yeah, like day in the life, I work full-time. I have to pay bills. I stress about rent. I fight with my boyfriend. I get mad at my mom. It’s totally, you’re just going through. It’s your job, right?

    Ally Pintucci:

    So I think what’s cool about it and what I’ve actually loved that’s come from it is it really gave me the opportunity to create my own business, doing something that I love and photography was just this passion project for me. And now it’s become this platform where I actually can go out and take photos and travel the world and produce content and work with brands to outside of Instagram, come up with creative and innovative strategies to make some of their ideas come to life. And I wouldn’t have had this, I don’t know if I would have had this opportunity if it wasn’t for Instagram. So for me, it’s just one little piece of the puzzle. It’s not my entire life. It’s just the platform that gave me the opportunity to really just live out what I’m passionate about.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Wow. Well thank you for sharing that and being so vulnerable. And it’s good for people who are following the influencer to know that, and really anyone, anyone looking at anyone’s profile anywhere. We all need to realize that these are really curated moments, as you said, even choreographed to look a certain way or they’re planned, they’re meant to draw you into the image or the message that someone wants to share at that given time. And it is kind of rehearsed, right? But what I love about-

    Ally Pintucci:

    It’s totally rehearsed.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    … Yeah, I just love your authenticity. I do. And I think that that’s something that would be very attractive to a brand to be working with someone like you, who clearly has that connection to themselves on the inside. They know what motivates them, what makes them happy or sad or how to best convey that to their audience. Because if you can be really raw and vulnerable with that audience, then if that is such a powerful and impactful relationship to have and in such a clear and authentic voice that you’re using in order to reach them.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah. I just want to do things where it’s not just like, Hey, cool, look what I’m doing and you can’t. It’s like, Hey, look what I’m doing. And here’s how can do this for yourself too. Here’s how you can recreate this trip to California. Here’s how you can… Like here are the best products if you’re going camping and you need to stay safe. It’s really just allowing it, it’s just a channel where I can have people hopefully get some knowledge and fun and entertainment out of what I’m doing. But actually before we go, there is one point that I wanted to touch on that you just sparked for me about curated moments. I actually, I think it’s become such an interesting topic of inspiring especially the outdoor world. Social media has been so great for pushing people outside and wanting to get people outside, but it doesn’t actually show those moments of what gear they needed to get to this hike and what the trail conditions were like.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And I feel like, especially out here in BC, there are so many people going out because they see things on Instagram and aren’t prepared to be outside. And some of the places around here are getting shut down because people are leaving traces of throwing garbage and bears are in the area. And we know there’s a fire ban in here in BC, but a fire just started in Squamish because they think someone had a campfire when they shouldn’t have. So there’s this struggle I have sometimes with social media being this curated moment because people need to know that sometimes people are just strictly setting up a shot and it’s not real, or it could be photo-shopped or it was that tent was set up there just specifically for this photo.

    Ally Pintucci:

    And that’s one of the things that I really want to start working on is how do we actually educate people to be more socially responsible when they’re going outside? And I think this is starting to hit home with a lot of people out here, because there’s a lot of things happening in the outdoors that we’re causing, because we’re not being socially responsible. And it might be stemming from Instagram photos or these Insta-worthy spots that people are findings.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Yeah. Sometimes we don’t really stop to think about those photos. And as you said, that tent, it might look amazing and beautiful and whatever, but maybe it’s not actually safe. It’s not safe for that venue because, yeah.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Or you technically can’t even camp there. You’re not allowed to camp there. So it’s really cool to see people getting called out on social media. There are accounts that exist. There’s one called You Did Not Sleep There. And they’re basically just taking ridiculous photos of people that set up tents being like you didn’t sleep here. Or accounts that call people out for breaking the rules and saying, Hey, you have a responsibility to be educating people and saying, or educating people and letting people know what they should and shouldn’t be doing. And posting photos like this. If you don’t know anything about the outdoors, people just want to go recreate it. They see it as inspiration. Then they’re like, I want to do that.

    Ally Pintucci:

    So it’s like this interesting thing that’s going on now is like, who’s at fault? People that go outside without educating themselves? Or people that promote these photos that have massive reach that aren’t saying, Hey, this is not real. Or, Hey, these are the steps that you should do if you are going to be going outside. So that’s actually one of the projects I’m working on with Arc’teryx here in Vancouver is putting together a talk on social responsibility and social media.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Well, that’s wonderful. So Ally, can you tell us a little bit more about where we can learn about you and what you do?

    Ally Pintucci:

    Yeah. My website is just my name. It’s allypintucci.com, and it links to all of my services and my social channels there. But the place I hang out most is definitely my Instagram.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Yes. Thank you again so much, Ally. Is a pleasure to speak with you and we’ll look forward to seeing what you’ve got on your Instagram next.

    Ally Pintucci:

    Thanks so much for having me. I had a great time.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli:

    Thank you for tuning in and if you haven’t already done so I’d like to invite you to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, as well as give us a rating. We love hearing from you and gathering your feedback. Once again I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli, and I hope you can join us for our next Sound Stories Podcast.

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

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